A selective group of individuals are born with immense creative gifts, as the right side of one's brain tends to take ownership of a natural-born artist. Georgia Blizzard can fully attest to this ideology, as she has frequently looked for creative outlets in her youth. After discovering that the world of acting and entertainment could be a viable career path, Georgia mastered her craft through drama classes and local theatre productions. Now, Georgia shines in ITV’s new drama series, The Singapore Grip. In this exclusive interview, we had the opportunity to chat with Georgia to discuss her past in the entertainment industry, her experience working on The Singapore Grip, and an inside look into her on-screen character, Joan Blackett.
Megan Morgante: Did anything/anyone, in particular, inspire you to enter the entertainment industry?
Georgia Blizzard: I’ve always loved the arts and performing. I grew up playing music with my family, taking dance lessons, acting in local amateur theatre productions, and filled every spare moment with crafting, doodling, and making things with my hands. I grew up in a pretty small town with no concept of the ‘entertainment industry’ so I don’t think I ever realized it was a career you could actually pursue. I just always felt most myself when I was being creative, which led me to take drama in my last couple of years of high school. I was fortunate enough to have some really supportive teachers who encouraged me to audition for drama schools on the mainland.
MM: What did your life look like before you entered the entertainment industry
GB: I moved to Sydney straight after high school to study at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and began auditioning as soon as I graduated. It’s no secret that acting work fluctuates so I’ve had periods of doing many, many other jobs to pay the bills, particularly in my first couple of years out! There were some incredibly un-fun jobs that felt scary at the time and some incredibly fulfilling ones. I’ve done a lot of drama teaching for kids aged two to 17 and I always find facilitating a young person’s introduction to the performing arts really rewarding.
MM: Can you give an overview of your past in the entertainment industry and how it led you
to where you are now?
GB: I’ve done a variety of theatre, film, and television back home in Australia, but working on The Singapore Grip last year was both my first time working on a British project and my first time playing a series lead. When I reflect on the past five years, both in my career and my personal life, it’s been full of ups and downs that I never could have predicted. With that in mind, I just try to continue to show up and work really hard, be open to opportunities that present themselves, and focus more on being a better human than a better actor.
MM: Can you give some insight into ITV’s new drama series, The Singapore Grip?
GB: It’s a satirical drama set in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion in World War II. At the center of the show we have the Blacketts, a wealthy British family fighting to cling to their lavish lives almost oblivious to the horrific realities unfolding around them, and the entire piece endeavors to shine a critical spotlight on Britain’s colonial past.
MM: What can we expect to see from your character, Joan Blackett, in this series?
GB: Joan Blackett is devilishly charming, intelligent, witty, and utterly ruthless. She and her
father, Walter, are laser-focused on protecting their business at all costs and, for Joan, that
means chewing people up and spitting them out once they’ve provided her with what she needs to advance.
MM: What was your experience like filming, The Singapore Grip, and working with the cast?
GB: We filmed the entire series in Malaysia and it was never lost on me how truly special that experience was! To be working on a script by Christopher Hampton (who I’ve always admired), playing a character who was so much fun to get under the skin of (being so far from me as a person!), wearing the most glorious costumes whilst traipsing around the most exquisite sets in such a beautiful country was all incredible. The cast is made up of British television legends, so I learned so much from watching them work every day. I think the fact that we were all away from home gave the whole experience a really adventurous, playful energy; we would often joke that it was like being on our gap year together (with a little more work thrown in, of course!).
MM: Is there anything, in particular, you look for when reading new scripts?
GB: I’m always interested in how the women are written...and I love to be surprised!
MM: Where do you tend to draw your inspiration from when preparing for each role?
GB: Whether they be the moral compass of the piece or someone a bit more villainous like Joan, I try to approach every character with empathy and work outwards from there. I find every process slightly different but I really like working with music, imagery, and things that get me thinking creatively.
MM: If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
GB: Continue taking Japanese class in high school...you will spend the rest of your life wishing you could say more than, “The pig is pink,” and singing, “Heads, shoulders, knees, and toes.”
MM: Have you ever experienced any notable challenges throughout your career?
GB: I know I’m not alone in saying 2020 has been pretty challenging! I think it’s exacerbated the thing that is always quite difficult as an actor: the uncertainty of what’s coming next. It’s certainly been difficult, but a good reminder is not to tie your worth to your work.
MM: Do you feel you have a social responsibility with your growing platform?
GB: I’ve always been pretty outspoken about issues that are important to me, and I don’t ever want that to change. I think we all have a responsibility to engage politically and acknowledge that having the choice to disengage is an incredibly privileged position to be in.
MM: Who is Georgia Blizzard, to you?
GB: I am intensely creative, I feel things very deeply, and I love fiercely.
MM: What would you say your personal style is like?
GB: Part of the joy of being an actor is getting to borrow other peoples’ style who know far more about it than I do! My wardrobe is pretty eclectic; I like clean, classic silhouettes, earthy tones, and timeless shapes...but some days I want to go for something bright and clashy, or veer towards funky prints and textures. I’ve been knitting a lot in 2020 and have been looking at a lot of super kitschy 80’s-inspired jumpers so that’s what I’m hoping to make next.
MM: Who is your ultimate style icon?
Photography by: Harry Livingstone
Makeup by: Justine Jenkins
Hairstyling by: Adam Cooke